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Jul 16, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- PARTICIPANTS SOUGHT FOR WEIGHT LOSS TRIAL

More than 2,400 adults are being sought for a multi-center study to help solve the dieting dilemma of keeping off lost pounds. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says the "Weight Loss Maintenance Trial" will be done in two phases at four clinical sites. Phase I is a five-month weight loss program and phase II will try to

help those who lose 9 or more pounds in phase I keep the weight off for 2 1/2 years. Participants must be overweight or obese, age 25 or older, and taking medication to control high blood pressure and/or high blood cholesterol. The four centers involved are: Duke University, Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State

University in Baton Rouge, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.


Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston has found focused ultrasound, a novel, non-surgical approach to treating uterine fibroids, appears to be safe. This out-patient procedure is an appealing alternative to current invasive methods such as hysterectomy, the most common cure for fibroids. It is estimated one-quarter of all women suffer from uterine fibroids, which are non-cancerous tumors that develop in the muscle layer of the uterus. The new process uses magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound to map out the fibroid locations. A thermal beam is used to shrink the tumors using high temperatures.


Piercing your tongue, lips or cheeks with jewelry might be the fashion rage but dental researchers say it could harm teeth and gums. A report by University of Maryland researchers, published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, says piercing increases the risk for recessed gums, loose teeth, tooth loss, chipped or fractured teeth, pain, infection, inflammation and nerve damage. The study finds tongue piercing can damage gum tissue behind the lower front teeth while lip piercing can injure gum tissue in front of the lower teeth.


Children who have ear tubes inserted to ward off ear infections do not necessarily need to wear ear plugs while swimming, a pediatrician says. Dr. Jay Dolitsky, of the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, says doctors for years have recommended youngsters with ear tubes plug them up when they go swimming to keep water and bacteria from seeping through the tube and into the middle ear, where it might cause infection. He says studies in the past decade now show children who swim without ear plugs do not get any more middle ear infections than those who do wear them. "A lot of kids are really put off by wearing plugs at the beach, so when I tell parents their kids do not need them, the parents are overjoyed -- not to mention the kids," Dolitsky says.


(EDITORS: For more information on WEIGHT LOSS, contact the NHLBI at (301) 496-4236. For FIBROIDS, Jeff Ventura at (617) 534-1600. For PIERCING, Fred Peterson at (312) 440-2806 or For EAR PLUGS, Jean Thomas at (212) 979-4274)

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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